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Old 03-07-2013, 12:46 PM   #1
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Low Elevated Patio Floor: Cement Slab or Wood Substructure?


I have a client in an 85 yr old home with an open-air covered front porch about 2 ft off grade. Porch is surrounded by a short brick perimeter wall from grade to porch floor level. The builder packed soil inside brick perimeter wall and put a cement-like layer over it. Now the soil is very soft and has sunk. The floor has cracked badly and is sinking- there is a 2-4" gap between top of dirt and floor. I was considering 2 options to replace floor. Leave short brick wall, remove soft soil until get to firm ground, then either:
1) fill with rock/dirt; then crushed rock; pour new slab and then top off with stone tile; grout.
2) I have more experience building decks and wood supported porches. Thought I could build strong wood deck structure: set posts deep in good footings, joists, wood subfloor, hardibacker, tile over.
Trying to balance project cost with future settling & maintenance issues. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:14 PM   #2
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Low Elevated Patio Floor: Cement Slab or Wood Substructure?


Welcome to the Forum!

do you have any photos that you can post. I'm not sure I'm following your description. Is this a patio that abuts the porch?

I'm sure you'll get more response with some nice 8x10 glossy photos with arrows and circles and a description on the back ...... (ok, let's see who remembers this)

photos always aid, words only go so far
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:21 PM   #3
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Low Elevated Patio Floor: Cement Slab or Wood Substructure?


It just do not see that happening.
What you want to bet he used no soild fill, and non compactable sand, may have even used the porch for a dumping ground for left over wood materails when building the house.

Main reason termites are often found in that area.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:40 PM   #4
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Low Elevated Patio Floor: Cement Slab or Wood Substructure?


If finish floor has to be tile, I would not build a wood floor. Wood will not stay dry and stable in that setting.
After existing slab and fill are removed, bring in a mix fill of gravel. Stone dust is not necessary here since you are pouring a new slab. Use compacter every 6 inches layers of the fill.
Good quality slate is good for looks and traction.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:02 PM   #5
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Low Elevated Patio Floor: Cement Slab or Wood Substructure?


Quote:
Originally Posted by scotth77 View Post
I have a client in an 85 yr old home with an open-air covered front porch about 2 ft off grade. Porch is surrounded by a short brick perimeter wall from grade to porch floor level. The builder packed soil inside brick perimeter wall and put a cement-like layer over it. Now the soil is very soft and has sunk. The floor has cracked badly and is sinking- there is a 2-4" gap between top of dirt and floor. I was considering 2 options to replace floor. Leave short brick wall, remove soft soil until get to firm ground, then either:
1) fill with rock/dirt; then crushed rock; pour new slab and then top off with stone tile; grout.
2) I have more experience building decks and wood supported porches. Thought I could build strong wood deck structure: set posts deep in good footings, joists, wood subfloor, hardibacker, tile over.
Trying to balance project cost with future settling & maintenance issues. Any thoughts?
how long has the brick surround for the porch been there? is it strong enough to compact fill in there and not be concerned about the wall blowing out...
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